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Old 03-21-2005, 03:22 PM   #1
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Default A Couple Questions About Spin

I saw the thread earlier about the guy wanting to put spin on his shots...and I would too, but this question is just about the characteristics of a ball that has spin. I play with my dad quite a bit and we play at a pretty slow pace with most of the balls being hit flat. It's easy to keep a rally, but when I play with a couple friends that hit with a lot of spin, I'm lucky just to get a decent hit back into the court...of course most of the time we're playing at night with the weakass court lights, but I still have a hard time...so I was wondering what exactly a ball does when it has a lot of topspin. I know topspin keeps balls in the court better than a flat shot does, but they also seem to bounce faster and higher and I rarely get a clean shot off my raquet.

I'd like to learn how to hit with more topspin, but I think right now I would rather just know how to return shots that have a lot of topspin on them...any help or advice or facts would be appreciated. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

some tips

1.make sure to keep your eye on the ball
2.ironically, the best way to counter top-spin is to hit with your own topspin
3.make sure you have good footwork (sometimes flat hitters have a tendancy to just stand there)
4.Stand a little further back than you would normally, I don't think you are advanced enough yet to hit on the rise.

hope this helps
I think the most important is 1 and 3.
good luck...and keep practicing!
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

If all you want to be able to do is return balls hit with topspin, carry on playing with these guys that hit with a lot of topspin. You'll get used to it after a while, there's really not much to it. You don't necessarily have to hit a ball back with topspin if it came to you with spin on it, so just play your normal game and ask them just to hit a lot of balls to you.

Basically the reason players use topspin a lot is because you have a lot more margin for error. You can hit balls a lot higher over the net (therefore reducing the risk of netting a shot) and the spin will bring it back down to the court in time. Quite a lot of people use slice on their backhand, all this does is keeps the bounce low and it sort of skids through to the opponent.

If you want to watch pro's hit with a lot of topspin I suggest you watch a match on clay between 2 typical claycourters. Say the French Open Final from last year, Coria and Gaudio both hit with a lot of spin. There's not so many flat hitters around nowadays, Thomas Enqvist is probably the flattest hitter out there.
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Old 03-21-2005, 04:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

Quote:
Originally Posted by for-sure
1.make sure to keep your eye on the ball
2.ironically, the best way to counter top-spin is to hit with your own topspin
3.make sure you have good footwork (sometimes flat hitters have a tendancy to just stand there)
4.Stand a little further back than you would normally, I don't think you are advanced enough yet to hit on the rise.

hope this helps
I think the most important is 1 and 3.
good luck...and keep practicing!
for-sure is on the money here. Technically, standing a bit further back is the best suggestion for a beginner (taking the ball early and on the rise, which is the other real counter-measure...takes lots of timing). And like adeegee also mentioned...practice, practice, practice. Really concentrate on keeping your eye on the ball...ALL the way to the racket. Sounds good, right? But really hard to do in practice.

I can't second enough the recommendation about footwork...to stay on the balls of your feet (or at least balanced). I generally hit a flat ball too...and have a quick first step...that I rely on way too much and so I've been caught flat-footed more than I'd like. When I find myself getting in that rut over a series of matches, I'll head for the clay courts. That'll cure me of wanting to stay on my heels. In a game, however, when I've caught myself standing still or not backing up enough...I actually look more aggressively for an opportunity to come in to net. The topspin shot will sit up a bit more (certainly more than a slice) coming across the net...and it gets me moving again.

Keep at it!
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:09 PM   #5
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

Quote:
Originally Posted by CivicLx
so I was wondering what exactly a ball does when it has a lot of topspin.
There are two things topspin does to the ball :
1) It makes it dip more: it has the same effect as more gravity would have.
2) It bounces higher and accelerates after the bounce

The consequence of this is that the player who hits whith a lot of topspin can hit harder and with more net clearance and the ball will still land well inside the court. As for the receiver I think you already have got very good advice
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Old 03-21-2005, 05:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

no more questions. See how our beloved king JesusFed do it. That's it. Perfect. Sublime
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Old 03-21-2005, 06:04 PM   #7
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

If you are willing, then stick with the flat shots. To counter the spin, step into the balls early and take the ball before the spin bites. You'll absorb their spin and hit harder than them. You'll get topspin just from the adjustments in footwork to catch the ball early.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

I find it easier to counter top spin shots with flat shots...Of course one needs to hit it early as domino says.
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Old 03-21-2005, 10:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

Yeah, I made a thread about wanting to add topspin to my shots.

I used to hit extremely flat. The problem was my ball's were just fodder for hitting on the rise. It's like my opponents didn't have to expend much effort but the ball would return, and it would return DEEP. With topspin your opponents can still take it on the rise, but they can't siphon anywhere near as much pace compared to a flat ball.

The main idea is to definitely not brush the ball. You want to still drive it, but make it extremely obvious that you're driving from low to high. It takes time, but once you start adding it, you'll notice a difference. Then, just keep doing it! I'm still trying to add more spin and more drive to my shots.
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Old 03-22-2005, 04:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

Thanks for the advice...I really need to work on watching the ball into my raquet...I never really keep my eye on the ball...and I probably am flat footed most of the time...hitting the ball on the rise sounds a bit difficult so I think for now I'm just going to stand further behind the baseline...maybe give the ball time to do it's thing and when it settles I can return it easier...of course if I was in a game, I'd be screwed if the next hit I got was a drop shot, but it's all good when it's just practice...well hopefully we're gonna play tomorrow if the weather is good so I'll work on trying the things you guys mentioned Thanks again!
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Old 03-22-2005, 06:08 AM   #11
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Default Re: A Couple Questions About Spin

Be careful with players that hit with a ton of topspin. Often when it bounces it can leap up high to your shoulder/head area. And by the time it falls down to a hittable height it's already into the fence.

I should know I do it to my brother all the time (He hits it flat). Drives him mad because he has to swat down at those all the time. And he's not short, either, 6'1".

But he wised up, took a step early and began taking those balls on the rise. It often threw off my timing because the ball would return in half the time before I can react.

All the advices above are great. But at some point you should experiment stepping up and hitting the ball on the rise. Try it with a shorter compact swing than you normally do.

The other way is to have the racket back, ready and follow through on your swing as the ball rises. But timing and footwork is key to getting into position.

Good luck… and have fun.
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